You may have seen the news this week that evangelical author and activist Brandon Robertson was dropped by his publisher, Destiny Image. It seems that Robertson’s activity as an advocate for marriage equality within the evangelical church made it very difficult for Destiny Image to sell the book (which is not yet published) to Christian retailers. If you would like to know more about the story you can read it here.
Over the past few days lots has been written about this issue, and I would rather not rehash what others have already said. My concern is that much of American Christianity has entrenched itself to such a degree that it cannot even talk about certain issues. In 2011 when Rob Bell brought up the idea that perhaps God does not intend on sending the majority of humanity to hell (an idea which is not new in global, historical Christianity) he was promptly labeled a heretic and thrown from the bus of orthodox Christianity.
Much of the religious establishment has responded similarly to those who have questioned other doctrines in recent years–the inerrancy of scripture, creation, atonement, the role of women in the church, etc. This unwillingness for us to consider certain ideas is terribly unhealthy. It is rooted in pride and leads to fear, arrogance, and the marginalization of those with differing beliefs and experiences.
I know Brandon Robertson. He is brilliant, eloquent, and destined to be a powerful influence on American Evangelicals for many years. We need to take seriously voices like Brandon who are forcing us consider the difficult issues of both doctrine and culture.